The Ateneo de Davao University celebrated the Investiture and Installation of Rev. Fr. Karel S. San Juan, SJ, as its Fifth University President in a meaningful ceremony on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on 08 January 2024. The event, held at the University Chapel of Our Lady of the Assumption and Martin Hall, marked the formal assumption of leadership by the new President.

The Investiture Rites, a formal ceremony where the newly appointed President takes on the mantle of leadership, signifies not only the beginning of a new administrative era but also the preservation of enduring traditions and scholarly ethos. During the ceremony, symbols of authority, responsibility, institutional identity, and heritage were bestowed upon the President.

Guests included representatives from the University Faculty and Central Administration, University Officials from Basic Education Units, University Deans, University Vice Presidents, Presidents of Jesuit Universities and Schools, Former and Current Board of Trustees, the Jesuit Community, Davao Clergy, Government Officials and Agencies, Presidents and Representatives of Higher Education Institutions, Consulates and Embassies, Educational Organizations and Associations, University Partner Communities, as well as family and friends of Fr. San Juan hailing from various regions of the country.

The Investiture Ceremony commenced with a Eucharistic Celebration at the University Chapel of Our Lady of the Assumption, with Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles, DD, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Davao, as the Presider and Homilist, and Most Rev. George B. Rimando, DD, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Davao, and other members of the Jesuit community from across the country as concelebrants.

The gospel reading from St. Mark centered around the account of Jesus initiating his mission, particularly the verses where John the Baptist captured the essence of being “on mission.” The ceremony, coinciding with the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus, prompted contemplation not only for the University community but also for all present. The homily drew parallels between Jesus’ mission as a servant of the world and the imperative for Ateneo de Davao University to expand its commitment to service.

“Like the Son, whose mission is to be the servant of the world, Ateneo de Davao University must continue to learn how to serve its region, its island (which is Mindanao), and beyond,” Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles expressed.

Following the Eucharistic Celebration, the Investiture Ceremony proceeded at the Martin Hall, graced by guests including Very Rev. Xavier L. Olin, SJ, the Provincial Superior of the Philippine Jesuit Province and the 13th Provincial Superior of Philippine Jesuits, Mr. Jo Mark M. Libre, DPA, the Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education, and Hon. Sebastian Z. Duterte, Mayor of the City of Davao.

The ceremony included the Presentation of the Presidential Medallion, the Presentation of the University Mace, the Charter Turnover, and Salutations.

In Fr. San Juan’s inaugural address, he expressed that the focus is directed toward education in complexity, contemplation, and conversation. The University will pursue these aspects together, fostering creativity and innovation in the university life: administration, formation, instruction, research, and community engagement.

“I will continue to work closely with our people in the University, and we will work closely with you, our friends and partners in mission. Together, we will depend on the grace of God to bless our ways forward,” Fr. San Juan said.

Festivities continued with a reception in the evening, featuring cultural dances performed by students, faculty, and staff from the ADDU Junior High School, Senior High School, and Higher Education. This marked the culmination of a day filled with tradition, ceremony, and the official commencement of a new era in Ateneo de Davao University’s leadership. 

READ | Inaugural Address of Rev. Fr. Karel S San Juan, SJ

READ | Homily of Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles, D.D., Archbishop of Davao, on the Installation of the President of Ateneo de Davao University


Published on

20 January 2024